Microcephaly is 40 times more common in the U.S. than it is in Brazil
by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News
Do you remember Ebola Zaire? No, it’s not the name of a former African political leader or a five star island resort off the coast of Africa. It was the name of a viral menace that World Health Organization (WHO) officials warned us in the late summer of 2014 might just decimate the world population. We were told that thousands were dying in Africa, and there was no way to prevent it from spreading worldwide in a matter of months.
See my October 2014 article, which debunked the threat of Ebola.
Now it’s Zika that We are to Fear
So here we are 18 months later, facing another menace – Zika virus! Ground zero for the Zika virus is Brazil and two dozen other countries, mostly in South America. It is threatening, so some say, to spread through the entire world.
This time, we are not being told that the virus will kill millions. Instead, an equally great terror is being portrayed – babies born with deformed heads. We are told that Zika may be causing babies to be born with a serious birth defect called microcephaly.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, there has been a sudden increase in the number of babies born in Brazil who have abnormally small heads and brains. The earliest reports said that over 4,000 babies were born with this birth defect. Microcephaly usually results in mental retardation and in extreme cases death. Other problems seen in children with microcephaly are: seizures; developmental delays such as problems with speech or other developmental milestones (like sitting, standing, and walking); intellectual disabilities seen in decreased ability to learn and function in daily life; problems with movement and balance; feeding problems such as difficulty swallowing; hearing loss; and vision problems. 
Let’s take a look at the facts about Zika and microcephaly to see if there is a relationship or if something else is going on here.
The Virus is Real
First, there is no doubt that the Zika virus exists. It was patented by the Rockefeller Foundation — Zika virus ATCC® VR-84™. The source of the virus was blood from an experimental forest sentinel rhesus monkey, Uganda, 1947. 
Some People Become Sick from Zika
There is also no doubt that people do get sick from Zika. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes the symptoms. They state:
- About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
- The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
- The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
- People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
- Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people. 
Treatment for Zika
The CDC goes on to tell us that there is no vaccine to prevent Zika infection and there is no specific treatment for the infection. They advise infected people to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and if necessary take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to relieve fever and pain, and don’t take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 
Thus, Zika infection is a mild illness, which people normally survive without a problem.
Then What about Zika and Babies being Born with Small Heads?
This is where the confusion and deception begins. Since January 28, 2016, the mainstream media has put forth a tremendous smoke screen of information designed to induce fear.
Zika is going to get you! Zika is going to get your babies! Zika is going to infect millions of people! There is no treatment or vaccine to save you or your babies from Zika! Zika is coming to the United States! Zika is already here and you better watch out — you can even get it from having unprotected sex!
The stories drone on and on – almost like the unfolding of a plot in a grade B movie.
Out of one side of the mouth of the CDC and major media sources comes the strong warning that pregnant women should not travel to any of the 24 countries that are known to have a problem with Zika, because they might become infected and the infection might spread to their babies, which could cause microcephaly. Furthermore, women who might become pregnant or who don’t know they are pregnant should avoid traveling to those countries as well. Out of the other side of their mouths comes a rather bland statement that the link between Zika and birth defects has not been proven. 
Despite the fact that no one has proven that Zika causes birth defects, officials in countries like Brazil are recommending that women don’t get pregnant. Officials in El Salvador are recommending a 2 year pregnancy moratorium. The Brazilian government is also providing pregnant women with repellant to spray on themselves to prevent being bitten by mosquitos that carry Zika. 
What is the Truth about Zika? Microcephaly and Zika Association Not Proven
Jon Rappoport, (medical investigative reporter and author), was provided with an English translation of an article published in a major Sao Paulo newspaper, O Estado de São Paulo. The article published on February 2, 2016, titled “País tem 404 casos confirmados de microcefalia” made several important points, which will be considered here. I am deeply appreciative for the detailed work of Jon Rappoport and his group of colleagues  who have been investigating Zika over the past two weeks. The article stated:
* As of January 30, 2016, 4,783 suspected cases of microcephaly were reported in Brazil.
* Of those, 3,670 suspected cases of microcephaly, covering the entire country of Brazil, are being investigated.
* Of those 3,670, 404 cases have been confirmed as microcephaly or “other alterations in the central nervous system” of babies.
* Of those 404 cases, 17 “had a relationship with Zika virus.”
* 98% of the 404 microcephaly cases come from the Northeast area of Brazil, and in that area, Pernambuco has the highest number of cases: 56. [9, 10]
The number 4,783 appears to be a total of microcephaly cases for 2015 plus the first month of 2016. It is unclear how officials in Brazil determined that 4,783 babies were born with microcephaly, but it was obviously an error or exaggerated number. After they reviewed the cases, they only were able to confirm 404 cases of microcephaly. That is a long way from 4,783!
The other important fact in the article is that only 17 of the 404 babies with microcephaly showed any evidence of having the Zika virus. This clearly does not show causation. It doesn’t even show an association. Of course, we do not have detailed reports on the methods used by medical officials to measure the presence of the virus. We also don’t know whether the virus would normally be detectable many weeks after the active infection has passed.
The CDC issued a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on January 22, 2016 to tell us what is going on with Zika in Brazil. At that time, they reported 4 babies born with microcephaly had Zika virus in their cerebral fluid. The results of the comprehensive tests that were done on a group of 35 babies born with microcephaly were unavailable at that time. 
The Rate of Microcephaly in Brazil is NOT Unusually High: Microcephaly is 40 Times More Common in the U.S. than it is in Brazil
It is interesting to note that the number of cases of microcephaly in Brazil in 2014 was 148 as compared to the 404 confirmed cases for the 13 month period beginning on January 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. Of course this is an increase, but hardly an epidemic.
For comparison, let’s compare the rate of microcephaly in Brazil with the rate in the United States. Here are some numbers.
Brazil Total Population 2015: 207,847,528 
Brazil Crude Birth Rate 2015: 15 babies per 1,000 people 
Brazil Number of Babies Born with Microcephaly 2015 (confirmed cases): 404
USA Total Population 2015: 321,773,631 
USA Crude Birth Rate 2015: 13 babies per 1,000 people 
USA Number of Babies born with Microcephaly 2009: 25,000 
I was rather shocked to learn that the American Academy of Neurology and the Practice Committee of the Child Neurology Society found that the number of babies born in the United States with microcephaly was consistently 25,000 per year as of 2009. 
If we do a little math, we find that the population of Brazil is about 2/3 of the U.S. population (208 million compared to 322 million in the U.S.). The birth rate is slightly higher in Brazil (15 births per 1,000 compared to 13 per 1,000 in the U.S.). But the difference in the number of babies born with microcephaly is staggering!
If we adjust the total population of the United States down to the level of Brazil, then we can better compare the number of babies born with microcephaly. After adjustment, we see that Brazil has 404 babies born with microcephaly and the United States has 16,150. In other words, the number of babies born in the United States each year with microcephaly is 40 times higher than in Brazil. No, I didn’t make a math error — it is not 4 times higher, but 40 times higher.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control provides different numbers for cases of microcephaly in the United States. State birth defects tracking systems, which provide data to the CDC, have estimated that microcephaly ranges from 2 babies per 10,000 live births to about 12 babies per 10,000 live births. There were 3,932,181 births in 2013, and cases of microcephaly ranged from 786 to 4,819. 
This is quite a range! The scientists who provided us with the 25,000 figure for babies born in the U.S. with microcephaly per year, indicated that there can be a wide range of measures used to determine whether a baby has microcephaly. Since there is such a large range for microcephaly, I must wonder whether the condition is being accurately counted by the 50 U.S. states. As stated earlier, microcephaly is commonly found with a variety of other birth defects, and we don’t know whether babies with unusually small heads are always classified as having microcephaly or classified as having a related birth defect.
Zika isn’t the Cause of Microcephaly in the U.S.
Regardless of whether you count 786, 4,819, or 25,000 babies born with microcephaly per year, one thing is very clear – these cases of microcephaly in the United States are not being caused by Zika. In the United States, Zika is extremely rare. If Zika is not causing microcephaly in the U.S., then there must be other factors that are causing it. I believe these other factors are also the prime candidates for causing Zika in Brazil.
Officials in Colombia, South America report 25,645 cases of Zika. They indicate that 3,177 pregnant women have been infected, but there are so far no recorded cases of microcephaly. [19, 20] Why is Colombia different than Brazil?
Jorge Lopez-Camelo and Leda Maria Orioli, from the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECLAMC), say that the surge in cases of microcephaly might largely be attributed to the intense search for cases of the birth defect. Misdiagnoses may result from the heightened awareness of the possible link of microcephaly with Zika. 
A report from the ECLAMC stated:
In summary, when we ask ourselves if there is a microcephaly epidemic in Brazil, or if there is a causal relationship between maternal infection with the [Zika virus] and children born with microcephaly, we face problems in all epidemiological steps to clarify the rumor. 
Based on the fact that the Zika virus was only found in 17 cases of microcephaly in Brazil, and microcephaly has not yet appeared in Colombia’s newborns, and Zika did not cause the 25,000 cases of microcephaly in the United States; it is clear that Zika is a very unlikely cause of microcephaly. There must be other causes, which need to be explored both in Brazil and in the United States.
Regardless of the other causes, or combinations of causes, political leaders are ignoring them and getting on the Zika-microcephaly bandstand and asking all of us to dance to the tune they are playing.
Political Leaders Agree — “Zika must be Stopped!”
A headline in the New York Times on February 9, 2016 stated, “Obama Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika Virus.”  This headline says it all, Zika is the enemy of humankind, and the United States must act now to fight it.
In response to Zika, the CDC has gone to the highest level of alert. The CDC stated:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the agency’s command center is going to its highest level of alert, a measure reflecting growing concern about the prospect of Zika virus gaining a foothold in the mainland U.S. 
WIVB TV reported U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s plan to mobilize the United States and the world to fight Zika. The senator for the State of New York would require the U.S. government to Increase its involvement in Zika infected countries, to get the CDC to develop a Zika vaccine, and get the World Health Organization to publically declare a health emergency. 
On February 1, 2016 Senator Schumer stated:
A stick in time saves 9. We all remember when people reacted too late to Ebola. There was a lot of fear, but they caught up with it finally and it didn’t spread, but we don’t even want to have to go through that with Zika. We want to stop it before it gets here. 
The WIVB TV news reporter that prepared this story introduced it by saying in part: “When pregnant women catch the virus it can lead to terrible birth defects.” 
So, for politicians and the mainstream media, its full speed ahead to destroy the threat of Zika. They are convinced that Zika causes microcephaly, and we have got to kill this threat before it comes to America and affects our babies. Zika has become a political issue, which has nothing to do with the reality of the Zika virus, its transmission, or its extremely weak or non-existent association with microcephaly.
Causes of Microcephaly
Since it is clear that Zika has been known for over 70 years and there have been no links between it and microcephaly until 2015, we must look into other possible factors which could be causing the cases of microcephaly in Brazil, and the even higher rate of microcephaly in the United States. As I mentioned earlier, microcephaly is 40 times more common in the U.S. than it is in Brazil. U.S. public health officials and politicians don’t want to look at this fact – they would rather focus our attention on Zika and microcephaly in other countries.
Scientists from the American Academy of Neurology and the Practice Committee of the Child Neurology Society tell us that microcephaly may result from any insult that disturbs early brain growth. It can be seen in association with hundreds of genetic syndromes. 
In addition, the U.S. CDC states:
The causes of microcephaly in most babies are unknown. Some babies have microcephaly because of changes in their genes. Other causes of microcephaly can include the following exposures during pregnancy:
- Certain infections, such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, or cytomegalovirus
- Severe malnutrition, meaning a lack of nutrients or not getting enough food
- Exposure to harmful substances, such as alcohol, certain drugs, or toxic chemicals 
From this information we see that, insults that disturb early brain growth of a baby in the womb are quite varied. Microcephaly could be linked to factors such as: poor nutrition, illness from poor sanitation, illnesses from unclean drinking water, chemical and pesticide exposure from agriculture, mosquito eradication spraying programs, vaccinations received by pregnant women, pharmaceutical drug side effects, recreational drug use, physical/emotional injury coming from domestic violence and other trauma, genetically modified food, swarms of genetically modified mosquitos that were released to control dengue fever, and overall immune system weakness. However, when multiple factors from this list are combined, the risks of birth defects rise even higher.
What if the proponents of the Zika/microcephaly hypothesis want to cover up some or all of the harmful effects of the other potential causes of microcephaly and blame everything on Zika to protect special interest groups and corporations? This is not a far-fetched idea! These are some of the special interest groups that have something to hide.
Use of Glyphosate, Atrazine, and Other Pesticides in Brazil
What if agribusinesses want to cover up the harmful effects on human health and reproduction that comes from their widespread use of glyphosate, atrazine, and other pesticides in Brazil?
Research has shown that frogs and chicken embryos exposed to low doses of glyphosate experienced microcephaly and stunted brain development. 
Reports of neural defects and craniofacial malformations from regions where glyphosate-based herbicides are used led scientists to undertake an embryological approach to explore the effects of low dose pesticide exposure. Researchers found that human prenatal exposure to atrazine and metolachlor were associated with smaller than normal head size. 
The government of Brazil has been adding the larvicide Pyriproxyfen directly into the drinking water supply for northeastern Brazil for the past 18 months. Pyriproxyfen is a hormone disrupter. It causes mosquito larvae to become deformed and prevents their maturation. This larvicide has been recommended by WHO, and is manufactured by Sumimoto Chemical, a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto. Brazilian doctors from Abrasco (Brazilian Association of Graduate Studies in Collective Health) are claiming that this spraying is contaminating the environment as well as people, that it is not decreasing the amount of mosquitoes, and that this strategy is in fact a commercial maneuver from the chemical poisons industry, which is deeply integrated into Latin American ministries of health as well as WHO and PAHO. 
Chemical Manufacturing in Brazil
What if multinational pesticide manufacturers such as the Brazilian units of BASF, DuPont, Monsanto, Nufarm, Syngenta, Adama, FMC and Nortox are trying to cover up the damage their manufacturing operations are doing to the Brazilian population?
Brazil is one of the world’s biggest agricultural producers and its biggest buyer of pesticides. Regulators, public health officials and consumers increasingly complain that Brazil’s position as an agricultural powerhouse has led to unsafe and excessive use of pesticides. Reuters reported in April of 2015 that at least four foreign manufacturers sell pesticides in Brazil that they are not allowed to sell in their home markets. 
Vaccines Given to Pregnant Women in Brazil
What if vaccine manufacturers and public health officials are trying to divert attention from the harmful effects of the Tdap vaccine that was given to all pregnant women in Brazil beginning in 2014 even though these vaccines were never evaluated as being safe for pregnant women or their babies?
In 2014, officials in Brazil decided that the Tdap vaccine was to be given to all pregnant women between the 27th week and 36th week of pregnancy. It could also be administered up to 20 days prior to the expected date of birth. The Tdap produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was to be used. This vaccine is marketed under the names Refortrix® or Boostrix®. According to GSK, neither the safety nor effectiveness of Boostrix has been established in pregnant women.  We don’t know what the effects of ingredients such as attenuated viruses, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, formaldehyde residues, Polysorbate 80 and glycine will have on babies in the womb, because this has not been studied.
Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in Brazil
What if Oxitec, the manufacturer of genetically modified mosquitoes, and Bill Gates, who provided Oxitec with grants for GE mosquito development, want to avoid anyone realizing that it was their release of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitos in Brazil that caused the microcephaly?
The genetically modified mosquitoes were developed and released to reduce the population of local mosquitoes that carry the virus that causes dengue fever. (This mosquito also carries the Yellow Fever virus and the Zika virus.) Is it coincidence that the area where the mosquitoes were released in July of 2015 is also the area where the largest number of microcephaly cases was reported in the last quarter of that same year?
The protocol is to release male GMO mosquitoes into the wild so that they will mate with native female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. (Scientists anticipate a very small number of GMO female mosquitoes will also be released with the males.) Once the mosquito larvae hatch, their altered genetic programming should kill them before they can mature and reproduce. However, there is one condition that must be met for this system to work, i.e., tetracycline cannot be present in the environment where the mosquito larvae are developing.
The problem is Brazil is the third largest agricultural user of tetracycline in the world. 75% of tetracycline is excreted from animals raised for meat. It persists in the environment for a long time. This means that tetracycline is likely to be in the environment where the GMO mosquitoes breed, and might disable the process that should kill them.
GMO mosquito developers anticipate a 15% survival rate under these conditions. The result is that both male and female GMO mosquitoes will survive and be available to reproduce with one another and with wild mosquitoes. 
I will add that no one knows what will happen to the DNA of wild mosquitoes when it is mixed with the DNA of GMO mosquitoes, and no one knows what will happen to humans when bitten by the offspring of these mosquitoes.
Spraying Pesticides to Kill or Repel Mosquitoes in Brazil
What if the Brazilian armed forces and public health officials don’t want people to know that previous mosquito spraying efforts and the current door-to-door campaign to spray pesticides to kill mosquitoes could have caused birth defects? What if public health officials and physicians in Brazil don’t want people to know that the mosquito repellant they gave to pregnant women to spray on themselves could have caused birth defects?
It has been reported that nearly 220,000 members of Brazil’s armed forces were going door-to-door to help in mosquito eradication efforts. It has also been reported that the Brazilian government was distributing mosquito repellent to some 400,000 pregnant women who receive cash-transfer benefits.  It is quite possible that these chemical pesticides could also cause birth defects. 
Poverty and Poor Diet for Women in Brazil
What if those who profit off the large numbers of people living in poverty in Brazil don’t want people to know that a carbohydrate based diet composed of GMO food products, poor sanitation, and extreme economic oppression makes it very difficult for women to give birth to strong and healthy babies?
The Boston Globe reported the potential association of Zika and microcephaly with poverty. They stated:
Both Brazil’s Zika outbreak and the spike in microcephaly have been concentrated in the poor and underdeveloped northeast of the country, though the prosperous southeast, where Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are located, are the second hardest-hit region. Rio de Janeiro will host the Aug. 5-21 Olympic games. 
Even though Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro can be characterized as being “prosperous,” they both still have large numbers of people living in extreme poverty.  Sao Paulo has the largest slum population in South America. 
Dr. Mercola describes the relationship between diet and birth defects. He stated:
Women who eat a healthy diet in the year prior to pregnancy have a significantly lower risk of having a baby with birth defects. Ideally, women should focus on proper nutrition, including whole fresh foods, animal-based omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, metafolate and probiotics, before pregnancy, as well as during and beyond. Women who ate a vegetable-rich diet during the year before pregnancy had a significantly lower risk of having a baby with certain birth defects as women who ate an unhealthy high-sugar diet. 
Conclusion: Zika will be Used for Profit
I don’t expect the concern over Zika to fizzle like the African Ebola epidemic did in 2014. In the months and years to come, I anticipate the World Health Organization and the U.S. CDC will continue to call for the creation of a Zika vaccine. They will then try to manipulate the nations of the Earth to require a mandatory Zika vaccination program for everyone without exemption.
Officials want us to believe that Zika is a serious threat, because they say it is a serious threat. The truth about Zika has not changed – it is a very benign virus, which is very unlikely to be causing birth defects by itself.
The most likely causes of microcephaly in Brazil and in the United States are: known genetic abnormalities, vaccines, pesticide exposure, GMO food, chronically poor nutrition, physical injury, poverty, and the weakened immune systems of pregnant women. But officials don’t want us to be confused by other potential causes.
Even though the 404 actual microcephaly cases in Brazil are much less than the original estimates, there is still reason for concern. The sudden doubling or tripling of the microcephaly rate in 2015 should still be seen as a strong warning that something is seriously wrong.
I consider the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes in Brazil to be a likely source of human birth defects, because cases of microcephaly are concentrated in the regions of Brazil where the mosquitoes were released.
And let us not forget those 25,000 babies born in the United States every year with microcephaly. A Zika vaccine will not reduce that number, since Zika infection is already extremely rare in the United States. If we want to reduce U.S. cases of microcephaly, then we will need to look at the wide set of factors that are associated with it. It is not acceptable to have a rate of microcephaly that is 40 times higher than other countries.
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